In The News

Jack Nicas January 7, 2015
Military-grade drones are too costly and ineffective for US border patrol, suggests a US inspector general report. “Customs and Border Protection has used drones since 2004 to aid investigations and patrol borders,” reports Jack Nicas for the Wall Street Journal. “The Inspector General report estimated the drone program cost $62.5 million in fiscal 2013…. Some independent analysts and the...
Kevin Poulson December 29, 2014
Anonymity on the Tor network may be compromised: “FBI agents relied on Flash code from an abandoned Metasploit side project called the ‘Decloaking Engine’ to stage its first known effort to successfully identify a multitude of suspects hiding behind the Tor anonymity network,” reports Kevin Poulson for Wired. “Tor, a free, open-source project originally funded by the US Navy, is sophisticated...
Con Coughlin November 11, 2014
Exposure of top-secret, massive US surveillance operations by Edward Snowden – and subsequent efforts by companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google and Apple to counter the surveillance – is aiding the Islamic State, contends Con Coughlin for the Telegraph. “Aided by the increased use of encryption software by the leading internet service providers, terrorist groups such as the Islamic State … have...
Stephanie Mlot October 2, 2014
A massive group of protesters using smart phones, all eager for specific news about their event, clicking on links, is a ripe target for cyber-surveillance. Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong suspect that China has infiltrated their phones with a fake application that is really a Trojan for the Apple mobile operating system, or iOS. Similar reports have emerged about Android phones, too....
Nikolaus Blome, Hubert Gude, Sven Röbel, Jörg Schindler and Fidelius Schmid August 20, 2014
Germany has been a leading critic of the widespread US National Security Agency surveillance program, yet the country has also done its share of spying on friends and allies, including former and current secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry as well as Turkey. The intended target for the US officials was Islamic terrorists, but “intelligence sources now say that US office holders...
Shane Harris August 4, 2014
Big data – “emails, phone logs, Internet searches, airline reservations, hotel bookings, credit card transactions, medical reports” – can point to patterns in motivation and behavior. Eager to expand such programs for security purposes, some US officials envy Singapore’s law-and-order attitudes and the uninterrupted power of the People's Action Party since 1959: “They are drawn not just to...
Kim Zitter July 30, 2014
Politicians in the United States have not considered the economic ramifications of intrusive National Security Agency surveillance, bulk collection of data stored for future examination and a cavalier attitude that security fears trump privacy protections. Exposure of the surveillance capabilities have “had a profound impact on the economy, the security of the internet and the credibility of the...